Do systems that utilize electronic health records (EHR) pose a threat to the sanctity of users' personal health information?  Three major systems -- Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault and Revolution Health -- raise important and intriguing questions as to whether or not they actually provide a beneficial service to healthcare consumers and ultimately help them exert better control over their health care decisions.

Although some parties, such as Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, believe there is a general ambivalence over EHRs, others firmly believe EHRs present a real benefit to healthcare systems, "remembering billions of pieces of information at one time" (so says Judy Van Norman, senior director of care transformation at Banner Health).

Dorsey Partner Ross D'Emanuele offered up his own perspective on the issue for the Inside1to1: Privacy.  "It takes a lot of time to get information from one place to another, and when the information is transmitted there can be problems -- pages left out, indecipherable handwriting.  Electronic records, even through one of those systems, helps eliminate these errors." 

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Used with permission from the July 2008 issue of the Inside1to1: Privacy newsletter, a collaboration of the Peppers & Rogers Group and the International Association of Privacy Professionals.  For more information, visit: